Each of us has grown up in rugby and we have seen a remarkable change in the game.
Each of us has been influenced by other coaches.
Central to everything we do is our ability to observe and use our observations to stimulate learning.
Our experiences structure what we see and how we use what we see to change athlete behaviour.
Coaching is not rocket science but it requires knowledge of the game, a vision about where you are headed and ideas about how to get there, an intuitive, sometimes instinctive, feel for athletes and a capacity to interest and inspire. Ric Charlesworth (2001), The Coach .
In thinking about effective use of performance analysis we need to be clear about the contexts within which coaching takes place.
Education’s desire to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to transform the way we understand the world and develop personally.
ICT is providing new ways of collecting and sharing information. Sport is at the forefront of this development.
The additional information a coach provides to athletes is often called FEEDBACK . We also use information to FEEDFORWARD and I want to encourage the view of coaching as forward looking to how athletes will become.
This software was used by a coach to look at changing a pattern of behaviour. The coach was drawing upon his observation and his knowledge gained from a coaching clinic. Both came together in the software to start an archive of how a player changes an action. This is a good example of an effective coaching process.
There is a global range of products available!
Game analysis systems vary in complexity and cost. All enable a coach to ‘code’ a game and store game footage in digital format for later use. This has transformed the ‘old’ tape to tape editing on VHS.
How comfortably you can see an image is a function of the screen’s width and height factored against the audience’s viewing angle and distance from the screen.
There are guidelines available.
In the early '80s, video sessions at Essendon were held on a Tuesday night after training, in the change rooms on chairs we borrowed from one of the rooms adjacent to the dressing rooms. Half the players would be dressed, the other half in a state of half-dress, or the unlucky ones, dragged out of the showers, would be draped in towels or be clothed in a club dressing gown. You were privileged to get a gown. Essendon was a frugal club and if you could bear to hold the gowns close enough to your nose, the nostrils would be tantalised with smells dating back to pre-First World War. The television was small and the coach made the property steward, Bettsy, stand by in case there were any technical hitches. Nothing was edited and we would sit half-awake watching slabs of vision on the flickering set until he found what he was looking for. This often resulted in a farcical 10 minutes of rewind, fast forward and rewind fast-forward. Nothing was time-coded and often the remote control would stick and not respond to the coach's commands.
Most clubs now have people employed full-time to operate the computerised systems. Players will arrive on a Monday and a tape featuring every passage of play they were involved in at the weekend will be delivered to their locker. Most will then sit down with one of the coaches during the week for a one-on-one session. When the group gathers to watch the positive and negative tape, it is likely to be in a theatrette with a drop-down screen twice the size of the Dimboola cinema's. All the highlights will be edited and the group won't be forced to sit and watch as some technically inept coach fumbles around trying to differentiate between the fast-forward button and the rewind. It is the best teaching tool available to the modern coach, particularly the down-the-ground shots.
Centre of screen no more than 20 0 above the eye level of any viewer.
All viewers should be seated within 30 0 of the projection axis and never more than 45 0 off axis.
Size of Audience and Size of Screen 33’ 16’ 221 to 400 25’ 12’ 141 to 220 20’ 10’ 51 to 140 12’ 6’ 36 to 50 10’ 60” 15 to 35 37” 10 to 14 29” 5 to 9 21” 1 to 4 Distance from First Row Size of Screen Audience
To be effective and to draw on a range of coaching approaches does the coach need to be a DYNAMIC EVALUATOR? This is how two mathematicians see the future of maths tests …
Dynamic Assessment? The computer age has provided examiners with the capacity to respond instantly to an examinee’s answers. Correct answers can be followed by harder questions and incorrect answers by easier ones. In this way each examinee is given questions which are more relevant to the examinee’s level of performance. Time is not wasted on questions that are too hard or too easy for the individual examinees. Pollard and Noble (2001)
A growing, sophisticated range of hardware and software to provide a record of observable performance in training and in competition.
Game analysis is providing additional information for coaches and athletes to stimulate recall and to develop learning.
How to use this as a coach is an important on-going professional challenge.
I believe Differentiation is the essence of effective coaching
Differentiation transforms the organisation of a group of players in a session into the coaching of individuals.
Learning is too important to leave to chance. Effective coaching situates learning possibilities and provides a range of delivery modes.
Sophisticated hardware and software are coaching tools for observant, thinking coaches. We are deluding ourselves if we invest in video and computer technology without integrating them into our dynamic (and planned) learning pathways for athletes.